Be you, love yourself
I’m a big advocate for self-care. Whether that’s basic, essential forms of self-care like eating healthy foods and finding time to work out on a regular basis, or more seemingly frivolous forms of self-care, like getting massages and taking bubble baths every Saturday.
But I’m also a realist who knows that life is busy, and it can be hard to find time for self-care on a daily basis.
Despite the demands of work, family, friends, and everything in between, I want to make sure you always find time for yourself - because you’re worth the pampering.
You’re worth the moments of quiet contemplation or pure unadulterated joy.
Here are some ways to practice self-care, even when life gets busy and you feel like you’re being pulled in seven directions at once.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Getting enough sleep every night is a vital form of self-care. Not only is it important for your health (did you know that a chronic lack of sleep is linked to some cancers, heart disease, and other serious illnesses?), but it can also help you feel less stressed throughout the day. When you get enough sleep at night, little stressors won’t have a big impact on your mental and emotional health. Think of sleep as an invisible barrier to stress. I recommend using the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app (or something similar) to track your sleep and improve it over time.
Keep a book in your purse (or mobile device)
If you’re a reader, keep a book on you all the time. You can knock out a few pages at the gas station, waiting for your coffee order, or waiting in that terrible after-school pick-up line. Even if you only have 5-10 minutes at a time, that’s 5-10 minutes you didn’t have before. And it doesn’t have to be a book. You can load your phone with your favorite podcasts, watch a few minutes of a show you love, listen to some music, complete a Sudoku puzzle, or just sit quietly and relax. The point is to be more intentional with those stolen moments you used to fill with Facebook and Instagram scroll time.
Every night, write down 3 positive things that happened that day. This process takes about 3 minutes and will give you a beautiful record to look back on. Over time, you’ll start looking for the good in every day, which will allow you to notice more positive interactions and appreciate all the small things that make life beautiful. It’s a simple practice with a big impact.
Wake up 20 minutes earlier than your family
If you have kids, just 20 minutes of uninterrupted “me” time in the morning can feel like a real luxury. Even if you just use the time to sip coffee and watch the news, it can boost your happiness and mental health. 20 minutes is enough time to get in a quick living room workout, get a shower, read a book, or watch a favorite show. Again, uninterrupted.
Eat the frog
Mark Twain said that if you start the day by eating a live frog, you’d know the worst was behind you. Please don’t eat any frogs. But if you start the day with your most daunting task, you’ll get to check it off the list and be less stressed the rest of the day. You may have to suffer a bit, but it will feel so good to have that item off the list.
Set yourself up for success
Mornings can be the worst! Frantically racing around the house to make coffee, getting the kids dressed, searching for your keys, and doing a million other things can cause mornings to feel stressful. But they don’t have to be this way. Taking just 10 minutes at night to prep for the next day can make a big difference in your overall stress levels. Use the time to lay out clothes, prep your coffee and breakfast, and plan out the top 3 things you need to do that day. When you wake up in the morning, everything will be smooth sailing (okay, smoother).